United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has expressed its support for the political process in Cyprus and for reaching an agreement as soon as possible on a joint statement between the two sides which would lead to re-launching of meaningful and effective negotiations.
The members of the Council were briefed on Wednesday on developments in the Cyprus issue, during informal consultations, by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim and the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer.
The consultations lasted about two hours, during which almost all members of the Security Council took the floor.
After the conclusion of the consultations, the Jordanian President of the Security Council made a statement to the press, saying that “Council members expressed their support for the political process in Cyprus and for reaching an agreement as soon as possible on a joint statement between the two sides which would lead to re-launching meaningful and effective negotiations”.
“Council members expressed broad support for the good offices exercise by the Secretary General in the process and for the mission of Mr. Downer. Moreover there was broad support for the renewal of UNFICYP`s mandate for an additional six months,” he concluded.
The President of the Security Council said that Downer briefed the Council members on the mission of good offices via teleconference from London due to the weather conditions.
He also said that the draft resolution will be presented in the coming days. However, according to a Permanent Security Council Member diplomat, the British draft resolution has been handed over to the “5” and, with the exception that the fourth paragraph of the introduction, it is identical to the previous one.
In this paragraph, besides the disappointment expressed for the lack of progress, the reference is in the spirit of Wednesday’s statement by the President of the Security Council.
According to diplomatic circles, although the reference of the plan is quite neutral, it can be further improved.
Security Council Diplomatic sources, referring to the briefing by Buttenheim and Downer, said it ran smoothly.
Especially on the briefing by Downer, via teleconference, the sources said he was cautious concerning what has happened since March last year.
He particularly referred to the economic developments on the island and the impact on the lives of Cypriots, and the priorities of the Cypriot Government and President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.
In connection with the negotiation process, he referred to efforts underway for an agreement between the two sides on a joint statement which will allow the resumption of talks.